Viognier

The origins of viognier are unclear, but it may come from the Dalmatian coast, and seems to have been grown in France's Rhône Valley for almost 2,000 years. It is the main white wine grape of the Northern Rhône (Condrieu most importantly), and is traditionally blended with other Rhône varieties like roussanne, marsanne, and grenache blanc, throughout the region. An intensely aromatic grape, It is also sometimes added to red wines to enhance their bouquet. Viognier is now widely grown in the Languedoc-Roussillon as well, and has produced good wines in Australia, Argentina, and California; it has also done surprisingly well, on a small scale in Virginia and Texas. Viognier can be a banal wine with little more than an intense perfume to identify it, but it can also be as fine and complex as anything chardonnay can produce.